Monday, March 1, 2010


The world is constantly changing and the publishing world is no different. That's why I was so excited to find that the author, Fiona Robyn, has decided to take a new approach to marketing and promoting her work by blogging her entire novel, Thaw, beginning March 1, 2010.

How exciting is that? Very, very exciting!

And guess what today is??? That's right! It's March 1st. YAY!

Thaw, follows a three month journal of 32-year-old Ruth, who isn't sure if she wants to be 33. She commits to writing a journal for three months before she makes her final decision--life or death.

Ruth's first entry is below, and you can continue reading tomorrow here.


These hands are ninety-three years old. They belong to Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. She was so frail that her grand-daughter had to carry her onto the set to take this photo. It’s a close-up. Her emaciated arms emerge from the top corners of the photo and the background is black, maybe velvet, as if we’re being protected from seeing the strings. One wrist rests on the other, and her fingers hang loose, close together, a pair of folded wings. And you can see her insides.

The bones of her knuckles bulge out of the skin, which sags like plastic that has melted in the sun and is dripping off her, wrinkling and folding. Her veins look as though they’re stuck to the outside of her hands. They’re a colour that’s difficult to describe: blue, but also silver, green; her blood runs through them, close to the surface. The book says she died shortly after they took this picture. Did she even get to see it? Maybe it was the last beautiful thing she left in the world.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to carry on living. I’m giving myself three months of this journal to decide. You might think that sounds melodramatic, but I don’t think I’m alone in wondering whether it’s all worth it. I’ve seen the look in people’s eyes. Stiff suits travelling to work, morning after morning, on the cramped and humid tube. Tarted-up girls and gangs of boys reeking of aftershave, reeling on the pavements on a Friday night, trying to mop up the dreariness of their week with one desperate, fake-happy night. I’ve heard the weary grief in my dad’s voice.

So where do I start with all this? What do you want to know about me? I’m Ruth White, thirty-two years old, going on a hundred. I live alone with no boyfriend and no cat in a tiny flat in central London. In fact, I had a non-relationship with a man at work, Dan, for seven years. I’m sitting in my bedroom-cum-living room right now, looking up every so often at the thin rain slanting across a flat grey sky. I work in a city hospital lab as a microbiologist. My dad is an accountant and lives with his sensible second wife Julie, in a sensible second home. Mother finished dying when I was fourteen, three years after her first diagnosis. What else? What else is there?

Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. I looked at her hands for twelve minutes. It was odd describing what I was seeing in words. Usually the picture just sits inside my head and I swish it around like tasting wine. I have huge books all over my flat — books you have to take in both hands to lift. I’ve had the photo habit for years. Mother bought me my first book, black and white landscapes by Ansel Adams. When she got really ill, I used to take it to bed with me and look at it for hours, concentrating on the huge trees, the still water, the never-ending skies. I suppose it helped me think about something other than what was happening. I learned to focus on one photo at a time rather than flicking from scene to scene in search of something to hold me. If I concentrate, then everything stands still. Although I use them to escape the world, I also think they bring me closer to it. I’ve still got that book. When I take it out, I handle the pages as though they might flake into dust.

Mother used to write a journal. When I was small, I sat by her bed in the early mornings on a hard chair and looked at her face as her pen spat out sentences in short bursts. I imagined what she might have been writing about — princesses dressed in star-patterned silk, talking horses, adventures with pirates. More likely she was writing about what she was going to cook for dinner and how irritating Dad’s snoring was.

I’ve always wanted to write my own journal, and this is my chance. Maybe my last chance. The idea is that every night for three months, I’ll take one of these heavy sheets of pure white paper, rough under my fingertips, and fill it up on both sides. If my suicide note is nearly a hundred pages long, then no-one can accuse me of not thinking it through. No-one can say, ‘It makes no sense; she was a polite, cheerful girl, had everything to live for,’ before adding that I did keep myself to myself. It’ll all be here. I’m using a silver fountain pen with purple ink. A bit flamboyant for me, I know. I need these idiosyncratic rituals; they hold things in place. Like the way I make tea, squeezing the tea-bag three times, the exact amount of milk, seven stirs. My writing is small and neat; I’m striping the paper. I’m near the bottom of the page now. Only ninety-one more days to go before I’m allowed to make my decision. That’s it for today. It’s begun.

Continue reading here.

I hope you all enjoyed and will follow Fiona's blog. Have a great day!!!


  1. Wow! I will have to check that out.

  2. This is very cool. And I can't wait to see the rest of it.

  3. interesting way to market! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow that is really neat! I can't wait to read the rest! Thanks for showcasing her, can't wait to follow!

  5. Great--and great idea to do this. :)

    PS. Gave you an award, girl. :)

  6. Love the cover. 32 seems a bit young for that kind of thinking, but I agree it's a common enough train of thought, and this is a great experiment in marketing!

  7. Great idea in this technological age, what a significant digital platform she is building, too.

  8. I applaud Fiona's bold move. The story looks interesting and beautifully written. Thanks for this great post, Kimberly.

  9. Oh, cool! I just saw this on Jen's blog and went and followed Fiona's. Awesome!

  10. Definitely checking this! Such a cool idea!

  11. Hey all, I'm so glad you have enjoyed the little snippet from Fiona. It really was great! : D

  12. Thanks for sharing! This is a great read so far... I'll definitely have to check the rest of the book out. So cool that is blogging the entire thing - and generous!

  13. This is definitely an intriguing approach to marketing a book. Talk about putting your work out there.

    What vivid descriptions in this passage as well. And so raw--yet, not difficult to read, you know? Because there's hope that she won't go through with it. But it was still very moving:

    "If my suicide note is nearly a hundred pages long, then no-one can accuse me of not thinking it through."

    Definitely makes you think.

    Thanks for posting this, Kimberly! I will try to keep up.

  14. Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed it!

  15. That's interesting, I can't imagine if I had a timeline on my life how I would then view death. It makes me think. Thanks Kim!

  16. Beautiful writing. What a cool way to market!

  17. Awesome. Thanks for letting us know!

  18. Such a cool idea! I need to check this out.